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Instructions to Authors

  • Category: RBSS
  • Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:21
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The Acta Chirurgica Belgica (ACB) is the official journal of the Royal Belgian Society for Surgery (RBSS) and its affiliated societies . ACB publishes the Annals of the RBSS, and Original Articles, Reviews and Technical notes, after peer review. Case reports may also be published providing they are rare and interesting, or enlighten some recent advances in surgery. Letters to the Editors concerning papers previously published in ACB are also welcome. All manuscripts may be submitted upon the understanding that they are original, have never been published before, nor are under consideration in another journal. Manuscripts that have been accepted for publication become the property of the ACB, which is copyrighted by the RBSS.
They may not be published or reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the author(s), and of the ACB editorial board.


The ACB subscribes to the policy of uniform requirements for manuscripts.
Authors should consult Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. N Engl J Med. 1997 Jan, 23 ; 336(4) : 309-15). Prospective interventional trials should be registered (,, and the registration number of the trial mentioned in the abstract.


A covering letter must accompany all submissions, signed by all authors. This letter should state that : (1) the present manuscript is original, is not under consideration by another journal and has not been previously published ; (2) all authors have read and approved the manuscript , and take public responsibility for it ; (3) (when applicable) the design of the study has been approved by local ethics committees or conforms to standards currently in application. A copy of the submission to the ethical committee may be required.
Submitted manuscripts should be written in clear, grammatical English (British spelling). Authors are responsible for linguistic and gram - matical editing of manuscripts before submission to ACB. The journal does not provide linguistic proofreading or editing. Therefore, it is essential that authors whose mother language is not English have their manuscript edited by a native English speaker or by a commercial editor. Manuscripts improperly prepared or edited will be returned to the authors without peer-review.


All manuscripts should be submitted electronically as attachments to an e-mail to ACB at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Manuscripts should not exceed 3,000 words of main body text (main document except abstract and references), with an abstract of not more than 250 words, and a combined total of no more than 5 tables and/or figures. Manuscripts should be in the MS Word format (all versions). Separate files should be submitted for the covering letter, main document, and any figure. Do not insert any figure or other graphic material in the main text document.
The manuscripts must be typewritten with double spacing, 12 size font, 3-cm margins. Each page will be numbered in the upper right corner (beginning with the title page) and marked with family name of the first author. Each of the following sections should begin a new page : title
page ; abstract page ; main body ; acknowledgements ; legends of illustrations ; references.


The main document should be organised as follow :


Page 1 : Title page. This page should include : (1) the title of the paper (preferably no more than 15 words, and not a sentence), (2) the names of the authors (full first and family names) with their departmental and/or institutional affiliation, (3) a running title of less than 40 spaces, (4) the name, address, email, phone and fax numbers of the corresponding author, (5) the number of words, pages, tables and figures of the manuscript.


Page 2 : Abstract page : The abstract page is separated form the main body of the manuscript, with a separate word count. The abstract is required for all manuscripts except letters to the editors. The abstract is limited to 250 words, and should consist of four paragraphs labelled Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.
After the abstract, page 2 should contain a list of three to six Key Words, as listed in the Medical Subjects Headings of the Index Medicus. These Key words should not be words already given in the title, and are to be used for indexing purposes. Page 2 should also include all abbreviations used in the main document, in alphabetical order, with their meaning. Do not abbreviate terms unless they are used frequently.


Page 3 : Main body : The main body of the manuscript should be divided into Introduction, Material (Patients) and Methods, Results and Discussion. The Introduction includes a brief summary of the relevant published investigations, and clearly states the purposes of the study. Material and Methods describe the clinical or experimental subjects of the study and the techniques and equipment used.
Statistical methods are described in details. Results are presented in text, tables or figures, with minimal redundancy between them. The Discussion stresses the original and important aspects of the study and may end with a short conclusion.


References will be typed with double spacing on a separate page. They will be listed consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text, using the Vancouver style (see above : Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals). In the text, the references will be numbered consecutively by Arabic numerals between brackets.
Each reference of a standard journal article should include in order : author(s) with initial(s) of first name(s) (list all authors when six or less ; when seven or more, list only first three and add “et al.”), complete title in the original language, journal name abbreviated as in Index Medicus, year of publication, volume number, first and last pages.


For example : Van Schil P, Van Meerbeek J, Vanmaele R, Eyskens E. Role of thoracoscopy in pleural and pulmonary pathology. Acta Chir Belg 1996 ; 96 : 23-8.


The sequence for the chapter of a book should be : author(s)with initial(s) of first name(s), chapter title, editors, book title, place of publication , publisher, year of publication, first and last pages.


For example : Weinstein L, Swartz MN. Pathogenic properties of invading microorganisms. In : Sodeman WA, eds. Pathologic physiology : mechanisms of disease. Philadelphia, WB Saunders, 1974 : 457-72.


Figures : Figures should be provided separately in either EPS or TIFF format. JPEG, GIF, and PowerPoint© illustrations are unacceptable.  Figures must not be pasted in the main text document. Please contact the Editorial Office when the file size makes transfer as email attachment impossible. Black and white or colour photographs should be scanned and provided as TIFF files with a minimal resolution of 300 dpi. Upon final acceptance of the manuscripts, authors may be contacted to provide higher resolution images or the original photographs.
The legends of the Figures should be listed on a separate page, in the main text, just before the  eferences. All illustrations must be numbered with Arabic numerals. Colour illustrations will be charged
to the author. Reproduction of figures from another journal or from a book requires a permission letter from the copyright-holder.


Tables : Each Table with an appropriate short title should be submitted in MS Word format on a separate page. The Tables are designated by Roman numerals. The legend of a Table is placed as a footnote, under
the concerned table. Each table should be understandable without consulting the main text. Tables must not be created using Excel© or other spreadsheet software.


Case reports should be presented as the original article, with a Title page, an Abstract (< 150 words) page, and the main body of the manuscript organised in Introduction, Case Report, and Discussion. The
presentation should be strictly limited to the clinical case description and to the discussion of its particular aspect. Review of the literature should be omitted, and only references that underline the specificity of the case in its presentation or in its management should be mentioned.
Case reports should be limited to a maximum of 1500 words, with a maximum of 10 references, 2 figures and 1 table, and no more than 3 authors.


A PDF version of the published paper will be sent electronically and free of charge to the corresponding author. Additional paper reprints can be ordered when receiving the proofs and will be charged to the


The Editorial Office, Acta Chirurgica Belgica
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.